It’s Me or the Dog

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Let’s face it, our dogs take up a lot of our time, creating an unexpected challenge when it comes to dating. After work drinks are hard because you have to plan for the dog walker to come at the right time so you can have a few drinks but still be home before they hit the 6-8 hour mark of not peeing. Sleepovers are hard because you’ve got to make sure they get a bedtime potty and a morning potty and personally I don’t want my dog to have to be alone in our house all night. And even scheduling time for an actual date night is hard because you can’t just spontaneously do things as you have to account for your dogs basic needs.

I love my dog to death, but sometimes it feels like she’s a pretty big obstacle in budding relationships. I’ve been told things like “it’s just a dog” and “can’t your roommate let her out?”. And, while yes, my roommate (and neighbor) is more than willing to let her out, my dog is not their responsibility. They don’t mind helping out, but I can’t be asking other people to care for my dog all the time. So, these pronouncements are usually the beginnings of the end of a relationship (or potential) because a major component to a successful relationship for me is mutual respect and it’s hard to feel respected when you’re being told your feelings about your dogs needs are ridiculous.

When guys say these things, it shows a lack of empathy and I find that both frustrating and unattractive. Saying, “it’s just a dog”, shows they won’t be empathetic when I’ve had a bad day and just need to talk. I know it’s not fair to expect that they always come to my house but the reality of the situation is that I do have a dog and that is a big responsibility and I can’t just last minute ask my neighbor or roommate to watch her for the night all the time. I can be accomodating if I’m given enough warning, but I will not budge on not wanting to leave my dog alone overnight and that seems to be a major relationship killer for guys. I understand not wanting to have a dog in your previously pet free home, but if it’s going to get serious between us, then in my opinion you’ll have to get used the dog being in your house too.

Perhaps I am a little extra when it comes to my dog, but would you ever want to leave your dog alone overnight? Does anyone else remember that Super Bowl commercial where the dog is all sad and alone waiting for his human to get home? Maybe that’s why I feel bad leaving her alone overnight, but regardless it is proving to be an obstacle in potential relationships.

Anyone have any suggestions for this single dog mama?  

Bonus, here’s the video that left me with a major guilt trip for ever even thinking about leaving my dog home alone overnight.